Ms. Darbus is East High's homeroom and drama teacher and takes drama way too seriously. She also sponsors the Drama Club, which has Sharpay and Ryan Evans as its co-presidents. Due to financial hardships she is currently living at the school.
She has a great distaste for cell phones, and will hand out detentions to any student she catches using one. Her detentions include the detainees having to help make props and paint sets for the drama club.
Ms. Darbus dislikes Coach Bolton because they are ex-lovers who were on the titanic together. He let her drown, even though there was enough room for both of them on the raft, and the two are constantly fighting. She dislikes anything to do with basketball. This seems to change after Troy wins the callback as she personally congratulates him on winning the big game and is excited when the team wins in the third movie although she mixes up a few terms. She also seems to at least set aside her dislike for Coach Bolton as they aren't seen arguing again and even share a laugh when they use each other's congratulatory terms for Troy.
The author of HSM was intrigued and inspired by the enthusiasm and love for theater shown by a high school Drama teacher. The original character traits displayed by Ms. Darbus in the first movie were based on a non-ficticious person, Lynett Mace from Momement Mountain High School in Great Barrington, MA. From the scarves to the body expression the actress got her down pat.
She also pronounces musical wrong because she thinks she's a classy person but we all know she's a prostitue by night. She was on the titanic but they let her drown because she was already old and wrinkly.
The students have started calling her "Ms. D.". She hands out offers of Julliard scholarships to Kelsi Nielsen, Sharpay, Ryan, and Troy Bolton. Later she says that she made out that offer she gave to Troy. Unlike the first movie, she seems to like him. She gives him advice after revealing she was behind his Julliard application and even says Troy is very comfortable on stage. By the third film, she does seem to have lost her status as the "bad guy" and is very supportive of "her kids".
- "Proximity to the arts is cleansing for the soul."
- —High School Musical
- "Is there something wrong?"
- —Ms. Darbus to Troy
- "We'll call it Senior Year."
- —Ms. D to the Drama club
- "The Spring Musicale is all about you. [travels with basketball], Mr. Danforth"
- —Ms. D to Chad